Eyelid surgery is a cosmetic surgery
technique used to remove fat and excess skin around the eyes that make the eyes
look tired and old. It is known medically as blepharoplasty and can be done on
the upper or lower eyelids, or both together.
Why consider eyelid surgery?
As we get older, our skin becomes more
elastic and our muscles become less toned. When this occurs around the eyes, it
can lead to excess skin that forms bags below the eyes and wrinkles or hoods on
the upper eyelids, making you look weary and worn out and adding years to your
Eye surgery is a simple procedure that
removes this excess skin and fat and renews the smoothness and tone of the
remaining skin and muscle. It can eliminate eye bags, wrinkles, crow’s feet and
upper eyelid hoods, resulting in a fresher, more rested, more youthful look.
Since the removed fat does not return, this refreshed look will last for a
number of years until increased skin elasticity through aging becomes a problem
What does eyelid surgery involve?
The type of eyelid surgery you have will
affect the nature of the operation. Most upper eyelid surgery is done under
local anaesthetic with sedation, while lower eyelid surgery, or combined eyelid
surgery is usually done under a general anaesthetic. In most cases, eyelid
surgery is done as day case, although you may need to stay overnight if you
have had a general anaesthetic.
For upper eyelid surgery, the incision is
made in the natural crease of the eyelid. This is to hide any resulting scars.
The surgeon will remove any excess skin and fatty tissue, and pull the
remaining skin tighter, so that it has a naturally smooth, wrinkle free
appearance. The incision is then stitched and held in place using sterile
strips of tape. Your surgeon may ask you to open and close your eyes during the
procedure to see how smooth the skin is.
For lower eyelid surgery, or eye bag
removal, the incision is made just below the eyelashes to minimise the
visibility of the scars. Again, any excess skin, fatty tissue or muscle is
removed and the remaining skin smoothed before the wound is stitched. If your
surgeon is only removing fatty tissue, with no excess skin removal, they may
make the incision just behind the eyelashes, within the eye socket itself.
After your eyelid surgery
You will not fully enjoy the results of
your eyelid surgery for several weeks, until the swelling has gone down and any
bruising has disappeared. Your stitches will normally be taken out after a few
days, but you may still need the surgical tape strips to maintain the integrity
of the wound.
During the first few days, you are advised
to keep your head upright to reduce pressure around the wounds. You will also
need to clean the wounds with water and apply any ointment or eye drops you
were given when you were discharged. You will not be able to wear eye makeup
until your surgeon gives you the all clear.
You may experience swelling and bruising
for the first couple of weeks. This is perfectly normal and should subside with
time. You may experience dry eyes or your eyes may water excessively, and many
patients will experience both conditions during their recovery. Your eyes may
also be more sensitive for a few days. Some patients experience blurred vision
in the first few days, due to the trauma of surgery so close to the eye, but
this will quickly pass. If it persists, you should consult your cosmetic
What risks are involved with eyelid
Naturally there are risks associated with
any surgery, including bleeding and infection at the wound site. With eyelid
surgery, there is a small risk of bleeding occurring behind the eye, which can
compromise the optic nerve and lead to sight problems or even complete
blindness. There is also a small risk of damage to your cornea, which will need
corrective surgery. These problems, it must be stressed, are very rare.
As with other cosmetic surgery, there is
always the risk that the results will not be even, and that your eyes may look
different from each other. A skilled surgeon will work hard to avoid this, but
a corrective operation may still be needed if you are not satisfied with the
results once you have fully healed.
What does eyelid surgery cost?
Upper or lower blepharoplasty alone costs
between £2,000 and £3,000, with a combined procedure costing around £5,000.